- "I mean, I know for you, I only left a year ago. For me, it's been 20 years, and back then when I was a kid, I didn't understand what it meant to fight for something bigger than yourself, but now I do, and I'm really proud of you, Dad."
- —William Clayton to Oliver Queen[src]
William Clayton (born c. 2006) is the son of the late Oliver Queen and the late Samantha Clayton, the step-son of Felicity Smoak, the older paternal half-brother of Mia Queen, the grandson of Frank and Irene Clayton and Robert and Moira Queen, and the nephew of Emiko Adachi and Thea Queen. After William's kidnapping at the hands of Damien Darhk, he and his mother were relocated to an undisclosed location where he adopted the name Matthew.
In May 2017, he was tracked down by Adrian Chase, who kidnapped him in order to threaten his father. Soon after being rescued by his father, an explosion occurred on Lian Yu where his mother, who had also been captured, was killed. This resulted in William having to move in with Oliver. However, in early 2019, he moved back to Central City, going to live with his maternal grandparents.
In the new multiverse, William got the chance to grow up with his half-sister, Mia, and live with Felicity after his father's death. He attended Oliver's funeral to honor his father. He got the chance to get to know his grandmother, Moira, and his aunt, Emiko.
William was conceived during Oliver Queen's affair with Samantha Clayton in 2005. Oliver shared the news with his mother, Moira, expressing that he had messed up. Thinking this could potentially ruin Oliver's life, Moira paid Samantha one million dollars to pretend she had miscarried and "asked" her to move away to Central City and never to see Oliver again.
Although Samantha never took the money, she agreed to lie to Oliver, and moved to Central City. She also denied Moira access to the child; as Samantha believed the former would be a bad influence on her son.
William Clayton was born in 2006, and was solely raised by his mother with the aid of her parents Frank and Irene.
In late-2007, William's father and paternal grandfather were presumed deceased after their yacht, the Queen's Gambit, sunk on a three week long planned trip, when he was roughly still a year old, so even if something had changed his mother's mind, William would not be able to meet his father for several years to come.
Samantha loved him and did her best to make sure William lived a well adjusted, happy life.
Meeting his father
Eight years later, William's mother visited CC Jitters. She called him, promising to be back with a hot chocolate soon. A year later, William was running through CC Jitters with his action figure and ran into his father, Oliver, unbeknownst to both of them. He dropped it and Oliver went to give William back his figurine of The Flash and he ran to his mother. The sight of him with his mother made Oliver start to mentally connect some dots.
On their way to see a Central City Diamonds game, William and his mother were briefly stopped by Oliver. While his mother was conversing with Oliver, William told her mother to hurry or they'd miss the game. Unknowingly, Oliver managed to get one of William's hairs so that he could run some DNA tests. Later, while playing with his action figures on his home patio, William and his mother were interrupted by Oliver once again. He was then told to go play with his toys inside the house. Unknown to him, his mother and Oliver got into an argument as Oliver had found out that William was his son.
The following day, William was formally greeted by Oliver, who told him he was an old friend of his mother's. He was asked if it was okay if he visited him once in a while and the two played with his Flash and Captain Cold action figures.
Kidnapped by Damien Darhk
Later on, Malcolm Merlyn, bitter that Oliver gave the Demon's Head ring to Nyssa al Ghul who ended up disbanding the League of Assassins, revealed William's identity to Damien Darhk in order to get revenge.
On Damien's orders, Malcolm Merlyn kidnapped William from his home, where he was staying, and Damien brought him to the hotel where he, Damien, was staying, to be his daughter, Nora's playmate. Damien confronted Oliver and Felicity Smoak and demanded that Oliver get out of the race for mayor but Oliver refused. He then got a video on his phone of William. After his mother was told the truth about Oliver's secret identity and the team received the help from Vixen, his action figure was used to try and magically track him. However, he was moved by Darhk to another location before he could be rescued minutes prior to when they arrived.
At Darhk's hideout, William heard the commotion made by Team Arrow as they fought against Darhk and his Ghosts. He ran outside to find Darhk was magically choking the Green Arrow. When Darhk's magic was cut off he saw the Green Arrow begin beating Darhk in anger. William and the Green Arrow spent a moment staring at each other before he left when the police began to arrive. At the SCPD, he was reunited with his mother who had his Flash action figure. He told her that he was bored with the Flash and now wanted one of the Green Arrow. She agreed with him that the Green Arrow was indeed amazing, not knowing that the actual Green Arrow was standing not too far off from them. After that Oliver sent him and his mother away to keep them safe, also making a recording that was meant for William to hear on his 18th birthday, revealing their relation and his identity as the Green Arrow to his son.
William and his mother soon began living in a new city under different identities. In this period, he attended Cadena Hall Elementary.
Taken by Prometheus
William was later tracked down by Adrian Chase at his bus stop who called him by his name William, though he said that his name was Matthew. Adrian claimed that he was a friend of Oliver's and tricked William into going with him. When he was arrested, he sent a phone message to Oliver with a video attached of William screaming for help, which prompted him to try to free him from custody. However, the kidnapper didn't divulge where he was keeping William.
Soon after being kidnapped, William was put on a boat that was anchored off the shore of Lian Yu, which Adrian would attempt to use to escape the island. Arriving on the island, Oliver demanded Prometheus to give up William, but he evaded the answer and battled Oliver instead. The kidnapper claimed that William was dead so that he could convince Oliver to kill him, but the Green Arrow didn't give in. Later, Prometheus escaped the battle and headed to the boat in which William was in, but Oliver quickly chased after him and fought him for William's location. Prometheus grabbed William, who was kept inside the boat, and dared Oliver to kill him for William's safety, but it would also mean that Prometheus's kill-switch would blow the island up along with everyone on it.
However, if Oliver chooses not to kill Prometheus, everyone on the island would survive, but William would not. Oliver shot Adrian in the leg and secured William who jumped to safety in the arms of his now revealed father. Prometheus told Oliver that William now knows who his father really is, though he is younger than Oliver was when he learned the truth. He explained that it was a good thing because he would now have to live without his mother. Oliver shielded William's view of Prometheus as he took a gun and then shot himself in the head. Soon after killing himself, the killswitch was triggered and the two of them look on as a series of explosions are set off all over Lian Yu.
Moving in with Oliver
Following his mother's death during the explosions on Lian Yu, William was taken in by Oliver. Oliver enlisted the help of his former nanny, Raisa, to care for William as his grueling schedule of being the mayor and Green Arrow leaves little time for child care. For the next five months, William had trouble adjusting, coping with the loss of his mother, starting at a new school, and getting to know his father. At first, William had frequent nightmares and referred to Oliver as the "bad man." However, he slowly started warming up to Oliver.
When it was revealed Oliver was supposedly the Green Arrow, at his school, William was bullied by eighth graders that claimed Oliver was not there for him, recieving a black in the process. Oliver picked up William in his limo, and attempted to get him to open up, with him giving a lesson in self defense; to punch the largest of the group next time in the nose, ultimately getting the rest to back off. Not before Oliver needing to leave due to conflict with Cayden James, leaving William alone, angry, and to be taken home by his driver and security. That night, Oliver attempted to reach out to William and apologize, with him claiming his father could not gurantee he would come back, thusly leaving William an orphan. William scared of losing his father, Oliver promised his son to be the best father he could be and to do everything in his power to ensure he comes back, leading to father and son playing video games together as William accepts his apology.
Oliver eventually decided to give up being Green Arrow in order to take care of William. John Diggle took on the role of Green Arrow in his absence. However, though improving, Oliver still had trouble connecting with William, particularly because he has never been any good at school, while William excels at it. At Oliver's request, Felicity steps in and becomes William's math tutor. Seeing how good she is with William prompted Oliver to reconsider his relationship with Felicity, and ultimately led to them getting back together.
When Slade Wilson asked for help from Oliver, Felicity convinced Oliver to tell William the truth as to why he will be gone, as helping a friend. A few days later, William called Oliver asking when he was coming home, Oliver then said that he is on his way back, William asked if he was able to help his friend, which Oliver told him he couldn't.
Later, William and Felicity were playing Mortal Kombat when Oliver gets back. William fills his father in what he all practiced when he was away and runs off to discover a science undertaking.
William celebrated Thanksgiving with his father. At this time, Oliver's sister, Thea awoke from her coma, and William got to meet his aunt for the first time. When Oliver and Felicity celebrated their wedding with a party, William got to know his aunt Thea. William asked if he could have champagne, to which Thea promised him a sip, but only during the toasts at the party, to which Oliver agreed was alright for Robert and Moira allowed the two of them to do so. William later danced with Thea.
Attacks of Helix
By 2018, William called Oliver "Dad," and was emotionally attached to him as his father. William later took a field trip outside Star City, and on his bus bullies attempted to mess with him but he ignored. Later, the tunnel was being attacked by Cayden James' hack attack, and he bravely got the other kids of the bus, but was later saved by his father as Green Arrow. Though angry, back at his father's bunker, William reconciled his own desires with help from Felicity and as he saw Oliver be a hero on the Overwatch cameras. Later back home, William encourages his father to be a hero and assures he's fine.
Later, William shows up at the den with Thea. He was becoming disappointed with Felicity at the Arrow HQ, and she consoles him everything will be okay. But William then is kidnapped by Cayden James as revenge. William sees Cayden's detonator on the floor and starts strolling towards it. A firefight breaks out inside and Cayden takes the detonator from William and reveals to Oliver that he feels that he bombed his child, so he despite everything intends to level the city. So William is recovered and taken home.
At Arrow HQ, Thea's messing with William about Oliver's previous dread of the dim.
At one point, Oliver lost his temper with Felicity and William, causing him to accidentally break William's science fair project. Felicity, upset with Oliver, tells him to get out while she takes William to the fair. When they come home and realize that Oliver was drugged, William gives Felicity sneakers telling her to go stop him from starting an all out battle with the Star City Police Department.
William, Felicity and Raisa meet New Team Arrow at the preliminary. William and Felicity visit Oliver. He advises William to get ready for him being sent to prison, and that Felicity will pay special mind to him. Oliver reveals to William that he'll generally be there for him. Later, William, Oliver, Felicity and Diggle, show up in the shelter. They're drawn closer by the appointed authority - who is really Human Target.
William prepares ready breakfast for Oliver and Felicity. Later, Felicity and William run and stow away while Oliver deals with shooters. Oliver reveals to William that he's setting him and Felicity into defensive authority with ARGUS. Oliver and Felicity call William and talk with him a piece to cause him to feel better.
When Oliver is being arrested, William enters and Oliver explains why he must go and tells William to be strong and look after himself and Felicity.
Moving to Central City
While away at boarding school in 2019, William realized that he was gay as he developed an attraction to another boy. This resulted in him getting into a fight and expelled. During the gravation of the Emerald Archer documentary, the scene all highlights the arrival of William from school, but after he argues with Felicity, he was really been removed from Cambridge boarding school.
He resulting anger and confusion was something William took out on Oliver for never being around and all the bad things that happened since Adrian Chase and Ricardo Diaz. Believing Oliver couldn't understand him, William called his grandparents; believing they could give him a normal life. After Stanley Dover nearly killed him, Oliver agreed to send him away for William's own safety.
During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, William as well as everyone in the multiverse except for the seven Paragons, was killed in an antimatter wave by the Anti-Monitor on December 10, 2019, only to be restored a month later, after the Paragons and the Spectre created a new universe.
William Clayton was the son of Oliver Queen and Samantha Clayton. History for his early life remains mostly the same; William's hometown was Central City and he still moved back there to live with his maternal grandparents for a time prior to Oliver's death. In late-2019, his father, Oliver Queen, sacrificed himself for the sake of the multiverse in the Crisis, and to ensure the future of his family, William included. William also got to know his maternal grandmother, Moira Queen, as she was never killed in the new timeline of Earth-Prime, and his other paternal aunt besides Thea, Emiko Queen.
Instead of losing contact with his family, William grew up together with his half-sister, and the two became very close. Mia claimed that William always tolerated and loved her despite mischief she got into or committed. At some point, Felcitity had a tracking device implanted within his arm in case he fell into danger.
Kidnapped by John Byrne
A day before his father's funeral, William is kidnapped by John Byrne as revenge against Oliver for sending him to prison 7 years earlier. He is almost thrown off the roof of a building but is saved by a female archer. Later he is in the bunker where his future half-sister (unknown to him) shows him her bow. He is present during the unveiling of the Green Arrow statue and his father's funeral.
William shows up to Mia's college graduation and her engagement party with Zoe to congratulate Mia on her engagement with JJ while revealing he broke up with his boyfriend, Keven, since he did not seem to understand that William wanted a monogamous romance. Later on, during a discussion where William mocked that he was considered a Green Arrow successor, William was kidnapped by a mysterious group. Since he remained missing for two years, Mia travelled back to 2021 and worked with Team Flash in order to save him.
In 2019, William and Felicity lost touch after Oliver died. Years later, William became the owner of a company called Harris Consolidated, secretly funded by Felicity and thus a schism of SmoakTech. He also erased evidence that he is Oliver Queen's son and changed his last name to Harris.
Arriving on Lian Yu and finding Roy Harper
At some point in 2040, William sought the help of a Chinese fisherman to sail to Lian Yu searching for Roy Harper. While venturing on the island, he was caught in a trap and interrogated by Roy Harper, before revealing that he is Oliver Queen's son. While speaking to Roy, William mentions that his ex-boyfriend wonders why he has commitment issues.
He and Roy later uncover Oliver's Green Arrow equipment buried on Lian Yu, which came with a note telling both of them to return to Star City.
Back in Star City
As the duo returned, the hosen alerted them to go to Smoak Technologies, where William found a holographic map of the Glades disguised in the form of a Rubick's Cube. They were then found by Dinah Drake, but not before she saved them from two SCPD officers. Dinah revealed that Star City had fallen ever since the Glades revolted and isolated themselves from the city. They were later joined by Rene's daughter Zoe, in which Dinah then revealed that Felicity Smoak was believed to be dead.
Roy reveals that the clue they found on Lian Yu was the "Mark of Four", which Dinah recognises. William and Roy learn that, before her death, Felicity became a criminal, taking on her father's mantle as the Calculator. They, aling with Dinah and Zoe, find Felicity's plans for destruction of Star City.
Dinah, William, and Zoe track down a lady known as Blackstar, who had connections to Felicity's arrangements. Dinah uncovers the importance of the Mark of Four; it was a sign Oliver made up to unite the group back if necessary.
William, Roy, Dinah, and Zoe are attempting to find Blackstar with the goal that they can reveal where Felicity put away her reserve of bombs. The gathering goes to look at the previous Team Arrow bunker and they're expertly taken out by sedatives shot by Blackstar and Connor Hawke. After they wake up, Blackstar reveals to the group that Felicity isn't dead all things considered — she undermines the group hurt on the off chance that they don't give her the codes required for Felicity's arrangement. During a brief altercation with Blackstar and Connor Hawke, William balks at the notion of being an ex-lover of Felicity, and states that in addition to being her step-son, he is gay.
This makes Mia realize that, since William is Oliver Queen's son, he is her brother. However, when Mia attempts to tell him, both William and Zoe, who was also kidnapped, are skeptical. Everybody settles their disparities and starts really concentrating on where to discover Felicity. They make the acknowledgment that Felicity utilized a coroner to organize her passing. Mia helps William fathom his Rubik's shape, which uncovers a strange tape.
William and Mia have a go at buying recording device for $500 from an obscure back-rear entryway seller however they can't manage the cost of it. In the end, they take the player and play the tape abandoned. It's a lot of directions that Felicity needs them to give the remainder of the group. The two ignore Felicity's orders to leave Star City and instead follow the coordinates to the Glades.
William and Mia try to infiltrate no Glades. They track down Felicity's last known area to the central command of Galaxy One and once there, they about get busted — aside from they're spared by Connor Hawke, who's covert. William and Mia figure out how to get a gathering with the Galaxy One CEO. While William talks, Mia's ready to sneak around his office and get a DNA test they can recreate to use to get to zones around the structure secured. They battle a gathering of watchmen in a highly confidential holding cell and after they get in, they discover that Felicity is, actually, still alive.
Felicity is disturbed that they showed up, uncovering that the directions on the tape weren't intended to lead towards her, but a store of bombs in the Galaxy One structure. Felicity and Wiliam leave to have a go at finding the bombs and they get together with Dinah, Roy, and Zoe. The gathering figures out how to get to the holding room of the bombs, just to think that its vacant. Rene strolls in and tells the gathering that they're correct and the organization plans on shelling Star City later in the night. The gathering dives upon the Star City firecrackers celebration and after an underlying battle, they're ready to find and consequently deactivate the bombs.
The group discovers Rene and his sidekicks mean to utilize ARCHER to transform the Glades into a police state. It's not very some time before William and Felicity have a follow out over the previous' childhood. Later on, William goes off the content and has a go at penetrating Galaxy One yet he — alongside Rene (who realizes own mistakes and becomes an ally to Felicity and others) — gets caught by Keven Dale.
William then decides to use this to their advantage, as when Archer tries to read Mia's DNA, it can be destroyed with a virus. As William, Mia, Zoe and Connor enter the wall and go with the plan, the virus doesn't work. Rene then tells that the wall can be destroyed by manually setting explosives planted on them in one of the wall towers. Only Mia can reach them due to using her father's bow. She gets into the tower, and sets the charge, and narrowly manages to escape before the wall crumbles. With Star City saved, Felicity, Dinah and Roy decide to take the blame on the wall's destruction, so that Mia, William, Zoe and Connor can live on.
Sent to the past
After a confront against the Deathstroke gang led by John Diggle, Jr. that led to Zoe's death, William alongside Mia and Connor were sent to 2019, were they met Oliver and part of the old Team Arrow in the Arrowcave. William called Oliver "dad" and hugged him, although Mia remained distant from him.
The team discussed whether they should tell what happens in the future, but decided not to. A deathstroke gang appears and starts causing panic in the city, thinking they are from the future and the team desperately tries to stop them. What catches the attention of the original team and they decide to tell that Zoe was killed by J.J. in the future. Eventually, they defeat the Deathstroke gang and discover that they are from the present and their leader is Grant Wilson.
William also works alongside his father in preparations of the Anti-Monitor Crisis and he helps in building relationships between his father and Mia. The team goes to Rusia and Lian Yu to complete the monitor missions, then the sky turns red and the crisis begins.
William as well as everyone in the multiverse was killed in an antimatter wave by the Anti-Monitor on December 10, 2019, only to be restored a month later, after the Paragons and the Spectre created a new universe.
- "William? Good name. Sort of a sweet kid, actually. You sure he's yours?"
- —Adrian Chase to Oliver Queen[src]
As a child, William is kind, caring and polite, like his father, Oliver Queen, he is a big fan of baseball, he is a huge fan of Green Arrow and the Flash respectively, he also took an immediate liking to Oliver when they first met; prior to him discovering that the latter is his father, following his kidnapping by Adrian Chase and the death of his mother, Samantha Clayton, initially William had become emotionally traumatized and distant, he suffers frequent nightmares about Adrian and his mother's death, but puts up a tough façade around Oliver, however, when his father is not around, he broke down crying. These problems of William's are symptomatic of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, fitting, considering the experiences he endured.
Initially, William blamed Oliver for what happened to him and his mother, Samantha, due to this, despite knowing that Oliver is his father, he referred to him by his name and mostly ignores him as he display signs of anger whenever he talks to his father, calling him the "bad man", William also refused to talk to Oliver about his problems in school, he eventually forgives Oliver for what happened to him and Samantha, knowing that his father did his best to protect them from the individual who was truly responsible for his mother's death, according to Raisa; William has difficulty fitting in - much like Oliver did at his age. William has also come to despise Oliver's vigilante career; fearing for his father's life.However, eventually, William warms up to Oliver and Felicity Smoak, bonding with them respectively, by Thanksgiving, he starts calling Oliver "dad", when his paternal aunt, Thea Queen came out of her coma, he called her "auntie Thea", despite the fact that he has not formed a bond with her, upon getting to know his aunt, William asks her if he is allowed to drink champagne at his dad and Felicity's wedding reception, when William tells his father, Thea reassures her brother she told William he can have a sip, but only during the toasts. He comes to love his step-mother, Felicity and feels he can talk to her when he can't talk to his father.
In an erased future, as an adult, William tells Roy Harper that the hōzen he has was given to him by Felicity, who got it from Thea, who had gotten it from Oliver when the latter returned from the island. This proves that although he holds resentment for Oliver and Felicity "leaving him" as he told Roy they did, he still has a respect for the power of "reconnecting" which is what the hosen represents.
- Genius-level Intellect: William is highly intelligent for his age; William is also top of his class, as he excels at school work far better than his father, Oliver Queen did at his age. Felicity Smoak has stated that William displays prodigy-level skills in mathematics.
- Programming/Computer skills: While not as skilled as Felicity, William was able to make a very convincing (and very fake) version of his school's website. He has some knowledge of malware and firewall systems, as stated when he found a breach and a virus on his tablet.
- Culinary skills: William is a capable cook; as he made cookies once.
- Skilled hand-to-hand combatant: Oliver has taught William how to defend himself; giving him insight on how to quickly incapacitate large bullies.
Erased future abilities
- Genius-level intellect/Great business acumen: In an erased future, William proclaimed to his half-sister, Mia Queen, that he is indeed a genius.
- Computer specialist/Master computer hacker: In an erased future, William was able to hack a police communications channel to distract their focus while he and Mia infiltrated the Star City black market.
- Bilingualism: In an erased future, William is capable of fluently speaking English and Russian.
- Skilled Hand to hand combatant: Oliver trained William to defend himself when he 13.
- Culinary skills: William is a capable cook; as he made cookies once.
- Gulibility: William is a very bright student, but has proven to be very gullible, having been kidnapped by Malcolm Merlyn in his house for Damien Darhk under the pretense his mother asked him to watch over him not knowing the individual or being told by his mother it was happening and again while in hiding from being kidnapped under the alias "Matthew", Adrian Chase confronted him while leaving the bus calling him William and talked to him after believing he knew his mom or dad.
- Backpack: William carried this when he was young.
Erased future equipment
- Folding knife: William used this knife to cut himself free from one of Roy's traps, though Roy shot it out of his hand.
- Collapsible gun: William cares a handgun with a red dot laser sight on it that he can assemble from many pieces. He aimed this gun at Mia when she had Dinah at knife point.
- William is a fan of the Flash, as he owns an action figure of the superhero and also has posters from "Flash Day" in his room.
- In an erased timeline, William, presumably along with everyone else in Central City, was killed by Vandal Savage using the Staff of Horus in his efforts to kill Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders. However, due to Barry Allen changing the time continuum, this disaster never occurs.
- According to Malcolm Merlyn, William is the person that Oliver Queen loves and cares about most in the world, even more so than Thea Queen and Felicity Smoak.
- Like his father, William loves baseball and was a fan of the Central City Diamonds. After moving to Star City, he became a fan of the Starling City Rockets.
- William likes his eggs scrambled.
- His favorite ice cream is rocky road.
- In a possible future, William doesn't drink alcohol, but he'll make an exception if it's been a "tough week".
- Felicity and Zoe both call him "Will".
- William is gay, which both Oliver and Felicity were aware and accepting of. The couple wanted William to tell them himself, but he never got the chance until he traveled back in time and saw his father again.
- William has been kidnapped three times in the series, all of which were connected to his father.
- In "", he was kidnapped by Malcolm (under the orders of Damien Darhk) to blackmail Oliver into stepping down from his mayoral campaign.
- Between "" and "", he was kidnapped by Adrian Chase in his plan to make Oliver suffer and force the latter to kill him on Lian Yu.
- In "", he was kidnapped by John Byrne to get revenge on Oliver for arresting him.
- William went to a boarding school in Cambridge for a while but got expelled after punching a kid in the nose
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Oliver has two sons; one named Robert Queen II (who was named in honor of his late paternal grandfather) and Connor Hawke. In the Arrowverse, his name is William instead of Robert or Connor.
- William was originally credited as "Young Boy" in his first on-screen appearance in part one of the crossover "". His full name wasn't revealed until part two of the crossover.
- The flashbacks in ""—when Samantha is pregnant with William—are set in 2007, implying that he was born in 2007. However, this was later retconned and for the rest of the series, William is stated to have been born in 2006.
- The character has the same name Colton Haynes' late real-life father: William Clayton.